Calgary's Mount Royal University (MRU) announced Wednesday it is launching two new degrees despite the decision last year to end or suspend multiple programs amid a lack of funding.

The new bachelor degrees — one in child studies and the other in health and physical education — will be four-year programs run through the Faculty of Health and Community Studies. They will begin admitting students immediately for a September start.

"These two new degrees build of the tremendous success of existing programs in our departments of Child and Youth Studies and Physical Education and Recreation Studies," said Kathryn Shailer, MRU's new provost and vice-president, academic.

"Not only do the new degrees benefit students, they benefit our community by increasing access to degree-level education in Alberta and meeting the strong and growing need for professionals in both of these important fields."

According to the school, both new programs will be funded through the reallocation of existing resources.

The school is not receiving any new funding.

Seven existing programs, including diplomas, applied degrees and a university-transfer program, will be rolled into the two new degrees.

Multiple cuts, program suspensions in 2013

Last year, university administrators cut multiple programs after seeing a surprise $14 million shortfall in provincial education funding in the last budget.

MRU officials had been anticipating a two per cent increase in operational funding grants but the province cut those by 7.3 per cent.

In September, the school announced its decision to suspend the following programs:

  • University Transfer - Engineering.
  • Theatre Arts Diploma.
  • Music Performance Diploma.
  • Disability Studies Diploma.
  • Forensic Studies Certificate.
  • Journalism Certificate.
  • Advanced Studies in Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing Certificate.
  • Studies in Aging Certificate.

Officials also froze executive salaries, reduced staff benefit coverage and offered voluntary furlough days on top of eliminating 63 full-time jobs (29 of which were already vacant) and cutting $3 million in administrative support.

Students also got hit with a student services fee that officials say should raise about $2.2 million in annual revenue.